Friday, 22 October 2021

Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 71 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan, Ex General Secretary, AIPEU Group C

Conduct & Disciplinary Rules - 71 : Article from Mr. K.V.Shridharan, Ex General Secretary, AIPEU Group C

   Conduct & Disciplinary Rules – 71

CCS Rules & Principles of Natural justice


It is an important concept in administrative law. It is known as "substantial justice", "fundamental justice", "universal justice" or "fair play in action".

ii. As laid down in the case of A.K. Kraipak v. Union of India, AIR 1970 SC 150, the aims of rules of natural justice is to secure justice į or to put it negatively to prevent miscarriage of justice. These rules operate only in areas not covered by any law validly made. In other words they do not supplant the law of the land but supplement it.

iii. Generally, no provision is found in any statute for the observance of the principles of natural justice by the adjudicating authorities. But it is well settled that where the exercise of power results in civil consequences to citizens, unless the statute specifically rules out, the principles of natural justice would apply, has been held in State of Orissa v. Dr. Binapani, AIR 1967 SC 1269; Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India, 1978 (1) SCC 248; Mohinder Singh Gill v. Chief Election Commr. AIR 1978 SC 851, Union of India, v. Tulsiram Patel, AIR 1985 SC 1416; Charan Lal Sahu v. Union of India, AIR 1990 SC 1480.

iv. It is imperative that even where there is no specific provision in a statute or rules made thereunder for showing cause against action proposed to be taken against an individual which affects the rights of that individual, the duty to give reasonable opportunity to be heard will be implied from the nature of the function to be performed by the authority which has the power to take punitive or damaging action.

2.        Against whom Natural Justice may be enforced

It is settled law and there is no dispute that the principles of natural justice are binding on all the courts, judicial bodies and quasijudicial authorities. But whether these principles are applicable to administrative authorities also has been settled in the Kraipak case wherein it has been held that "if the purpose of rules of natural justice is to prevent miscarriage of justice one fails to see why those rules should be made inapplicable to administrative enquiries."

3.        Rules of Natural Justice not rigid rules

The Supreme Court in R.S. Dass v. Union of India has observed :

It is well established that rules of natural justice are not rigid rules; they are flexible and their application depends on the setting and the background of statutory provision, nature of right which may be affected and the consequences which may entail. Its application depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

[R.S. Dass v. Union of India, AIR 1987 SC 593]

ii. The essential logic and justification of the principles of natural justice has been brought about by Krishna Iyer, J, thus :

Natural justice is no unruly horse, no lurking land mine, nor a judicial cure-all. If fairness is shown by the decision maker to the man proceeded against, the forms, features and fundamentals of such essential processual propriety being conditioned by the facts and circumstances of each situation, no breach of natural justice can be complained of. Unnatural expansion of natural justice without reference to the administrative realities and other factors of a given case can be u exasperating. We can neither be finical nor fanatical but should be flexible yet firm in this jurisdiction. No man shall be hit below the belt.........that is the conscience of the matter"

[The Chairman, Board of Mining Examination v. Ramjee, AIR 1977 SC 965.]  


Post a Comment